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´╗┐Title: The Bad Child's Book of Beasts
Author: Belloc, Hilaire, 1870-1953
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bad Child's Book of Beasts" ***

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courtesy of The Internet Archive and the Online Distributed


[Illustration]



          THE
          BAD CHILD'S
          BOOK OF
          BEASTS

          Verses by
          H. BELLOC

          Pictures by
          B. T. B.

          DUCKWORTH,
          3 HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN

          Child! do not throw this book about;
            Refrain from the unholy pleasure
          Of cutting all the pictures out!
            Preserve it as your chiefest treasure.

          Child, have you never heard it said
            That you are heir to all the ages?
          Why, then, your hands were never made
            To tear these beautiful thick pages!

          Your little hands were made to take
            The better things and leave the worse ones.
          They also may be used to shake
            The Massive Paws of Elder Persons.

          And when your prayers complete the day,
            Darling, your little tiny hands
          Were also made, I think, to pray
            For men that lose their fairylands.


         _Made and Printed in Great Britain by The Camelot
         Press Limited, London and Southampton_



DEDICATION


          To

          Master EVELYN BELL
          Of Oxford

          Evelyn Bell,
          I love you well.

[Illustration]



INTRODUCTION


          I CALL you bad, my little child,
            Upon the title page,
          Because a manner rude and wild
            Is common at your age.

          The Moral of this priceless work
            (If rightly understood)
          Will make you--from a little Turk--
            Unnaturally good.

          Do not as evil children do,
          Who on the slightest grounds
          Will imitate the Kangaroo,
          With wild unmeaning bounds:

[Illustration]

          Do not as children badly bred,
            Who eat like little Hogs,
          And when they have to go to bed
            Will whine like Puppy Dogs:

          Who take their manners from the Ape,
            Their habits from the Bear,
          Indulge the loud unseemly jape,
            And never brush their hair.

          But so control your actions that
            Your friends may all repeat.
          'This child is dainty as the Cat,
            And as the Owl discreet.'

[Illustration]



The Yak


[Illustration]

          As a friend to the children
                             commend me the Yak.
            You will find it exactly the thing:
          It will carry and fetch,
                        you can ride on its back,

[Illustration]

          Or lead it about
            with a string.

[Illustration]

          The Tartar who dwells on the plains of Thibet
            (A desolate region of snow)
          Has for centuries made it a nursery pet,
            And surely the Tartar should know!

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

          Then tell your papa where the Yak can be got,
            And if he is awfully rich
          He will buy you the creature--
          or else
                  he will _not_.
          (I cannot be positive which.)

[Illustration]



The Polar Bear


          The Polar Bear is unaware
            Of cold that cuts me through:
          For why? He has a coat of hair.
            I wish I had one too!

[Illustration]



The Lion


          The Lion, the Lion, he dwells in the waste,
          He has a big head and a very small waist;
          But his shoulders are stark, and his jaws they are grim,
          And a good little child will not play with him.

[Illustration]



The Tiger


          The Tiger on the other hand, is kittenish and mild,
          He makes a pretty playfellow for any little child;
          And mothers of large families (who claim to common sense)
          Will find a Tiger well repay the trouble and expense.

[Illustration]



The Dromedary


          The Dromedary is a cheerful bird:
          I cannot say the same about the Kurd.

[Illustration]



The Whale


[Illustration]

          The Whale that wanders round the Pole
            Is not a table fish.
          You cannot bake or boil him whole
            Nor serve him in a dish;

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

          But you may cut his blubber up
              And melt it down for oil.
          And so replace the colza bean
            (A product of the soil).

[Illustration]

          These facts should all be noted down
              And ruminated on,
          By every boy in Oxford town
              Who wants to be a Don.

[Illustration]



The Camel


[Illustration]

          "The Ship of the Desert."



The Hippopotamus


[Illustration]

          I shoot the Hippopotamus
            with bullets made of platinum,
          Because if I use leaden ones
                  his hide is sure to flatten 'em.

[Illustration]



The Dodo


[Illustration]

          The Dodo used to walk around,
            And take the sun and air.
          The sun yet warms his native ground--

[Illustration]

          The Dodo is not there!

[Illustration]

          The voice which used to squawk and squeak
            Is now for ever dumb--

[Illustration]

          Yet may you see his bones and beak
            All in the Mu-se-um.



The Marmozet


          The species Man and Marmozet
            Are intimately linked;
          The Marmozet survives as yet,
            But Men are all extinct.

[Illustration]



The Camelopard


[Illustration]

          The Camelopard, it is said
            By travellers (who never lie),
          He cannot stretch out straight in bed
            Because he is so high.
          The clouds surround his lofty head,
            His hornlets touch the sky.

[Illustration]

          How shall
            I hunt this quadruped?
              I cannot tell!
                            Not I!

          (A picture of how people try
          And fail to hit that head so high.)
          I'll buy a little parachute
          (A common parachute with wings),
          I'll fill it full of arrowroot
          And other necessary things,
          And I will slay this fearful brute
          With stones and sticks and guns and slings.

[Illustration]

          (A picture of how people shoot
          With comfort from a parachute.)

[Illustration]



The Learned Fish


[Illustration]

          This learned Fish has not sufficient brains
          To go into the water when it rains.



The Elephant


[Illustration]

          When people call this beast to mind,
              They marvel more and more
          At such a +_LITTLE_+ tail behind,
          So _LARGE_ a trunk before.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



The Big Baboon


[Illustration]

          The Big Baboon is found upon
              The plains of Cariboo:
          He goes about
                        with nothing on
          (A shocking thing to do).

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

          But if he
              dressed respectably
          And let his whiskers grow,
          How like this Big Baboon would be
                 To Mister So-and-so!

[Illustration]



The Rhinoceros


[Illustration]

          Rhinoceros, your hide looks all undone,
          You do not take my fancy in the least:
          You have a horn where other brutes have none:
              Rhinoceros, you are an ugly beast.

[Illustration]



The Frog


[Illustration]

          Be kind and tender to the Frog,
              And do not call him names,
          As 'Slimy skin,' or 'Polly-wog,'
              Or likewise 'Ugly James,'
          Or 'Gap-a-grin,' or 'Toad-gone-wrong,'
              Or 'Bill Bandy-knees':
          The Frog is justly sensitive
              To epithets like these.

[Illustration]

          No animal will more repay
              A treatment kind and fair;
          At least
                    so lonely people say
          Who keep a frog (and, by the way,
          They are extremely rare).

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

          Oh! My!

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note: The original edition was well-illustrated. The
illustrations were scattered amongst the poetry. For ease of
readability, the poems have been put back together with every effort of
retaining the original style.

For the poem titled "The Elephant," a word in small-capitals is denoted
by +. As usual, italics are indicated by _.





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